The Finish: The Killing of Osama Bin Laden
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
After masterminding the attacks of September 11, 2001, Osama bin Laden managed to vanish. Over the next ten years, as Bowden shows, America found that its war with al Qaeda—a scattered group of individuals who were almost impossible to track—demanded an innovative approach. Step by step, Bowden describes the development of a new tactical strategy to fight this war—the fusion of intel from various agencies and on-the-ground special ops. After thousands of special forces missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, the right weapon to go after bin Laden had finally evolved. By Spring 2011, intelligence pointed to a compound in Abbottabad; it was estimated that there was a 50/50 chance that Osama was there. Bowden shows how three strategies were mooted: a drone strike, a precision bombing, or an assault by Navy SEALs. In the end, the President had to make the final decision. It was time for the finish.
every corner of the room. Obama looked down to see messages stacking up on his BlackBerry. Murmuring quickly overtook the testimony. The witness plowed on but soon no one was paying attention to him. The news from lower Manhattan flowed in from a thousand points at once. The second tower had been hit. Both planes were commercial airliners. The towers were on fire. This was no accident. This was a coordinated attack. At that point the Thompson Center was evacuated and Obama left with everyone
everywhere the agency looked in the expanding Sunni extremist world, his name came up. Not as a commander but as the go-to person for false documents, money, training, weapons, or chemicals that could be made into bombs. In December 1995, the agency created a small bin Laden unit, headed by Michael Scheuer. A burly, confident man with a full beard and glasses who speaks with a flat Midwestern accent, Scheuer was less inclined than many in the CIA hierarchy to swallow his own opinions. He had not
flown in by air force pilots, and then proceed to a hiding place near the city. The following evening Delta Force would emerge from hiding, raid the embassy compound and free the hostages, then assemble in a soccer stadium across the street from the embassy in central Tehran, where they would be picked up by the helicopters and flown to an airport that was to have been seized by U.S. Army Rangers. From there, the rescuers and hostages would be flown out of the country. This extraordinary bold
Earth. General James Poss, working with Clark, commanded the first Predator mission over Iraq early in 2001, when the UN was policing a no-fly zone. The Iraqis would occasionally shoot at American planes patrolling the no-fly zones, aided by a large, clumsy Russian Cold War–era portable radar device called “Spoon Rest.” It was mounted on a large van with twelve giant antennae shaped like coat hangers on top. In other words, they were hard to miss. Except that after nine months of trying, the air
for almost fifteen years, ever since he had worked as a CIA officer in the Middle East in the 1990s, and the success of the raid was as much of a personal triumph for him as anyone. So he gloated a little, before a worldwide audience. His comments proved to be an embarrassment. Contrary to initial reports, there was no firefight at the compound. Based on my own reporting and the published account of one of the SEALs, it appears that after an initial burst of inaccurate rounds from Saeed, all of